Men’s soccer looks to carry momentum from win


Jason Howell

Senior forward Tayron Martin moves the ball up the pitch during the Panthers’ 4-3 extra time loss to Southern Illinois-Edwardsville on Nov. 11 2014 at Lakeside Field.

Mark Shanahan, Staff Reporter

Men’s soccer is 1-1 after splitting the weekend’s games at Xavier and Lipscomb. The win against Lipscomb was the men’s first victory on the road since 2012. It is also head coach Kiki Lara’s first victory as the head coach.

Lara pointed out a few things that were important to take away from the games this past weekend.

“We talked a lot about being on our own schedule; we’re still very new to everything,” he said. “It’s the fourth time that this group has played together including myself, the coaching staff, as well.”

In the win, Lara saw a lot of what he saw in the two exhibition games that they won prior to the season. Defense is a part of the game he still sees plenty of work to be done on.

“The most important thing we took from last night is that there was some good and a lot of the good we saw in the preseason, that ability to get forward quickly and be dangerous to goal,” he said. “There are still plenty of things to work on in terms of defensive organization and just having an understanding positionally, what we need to do to be able to get good results.”

Sophomore Tyler Oliver is the team’s leading scorer after two games. He had a goal and an assist in Sunday night’s game. Other players with goals are sophomores Justin Oliver and Dominic Recca.

Depth is one of the strengths of the team that Lara pointed out from what he saw in his first two games.

“One of the strengths of the team is the depth of the team,” he said. “One of the things that I think was awesome to see is that, with the exception of maybe one player, we played everybody. Everybody played a role in the field over the weekend.”

No major adjustments were made at halftime when Eastern trailed Lipscomb 1-0 according to Lara. He said they just stuck with the regular game plan.

“The nice thing about yesterday is there wasn’t really a huge adjustment that we made,” he said. “We just kept chipping away at the game plan and I thought that was an improvement from Friday night. We stayed with the game plan from the beginning to the end and I thought really that was a big part in why the team was successful.”

Lara said there will continue to be lineup adjustments until he figures out the right patterns. He said that it would take some time since they’ve had one or two players just show up about five days ago.

“I still have a lot of work to do with understanding who we are partnerships wise and who we are with the strengths of the program right now and how they fit into the system,” he said.

Eastern is back on the road this weekend as they take on the University of Pittsburg.


Mark Shanahan can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]